Taking our land back

On the afternoon of April 20, 2021, the eyes of the world were on Minneapolis, Minnesota as a guilty verdict was rendered against the former white police officer who murdered George Floyd, an unarmed, handcuffed Black man, in plain sight. In response to the “guilty of all charges” verdict, jubilation and celebrations were tempered by audible, cautious sighs of relief. But few in the Black community dared engage in overt, superficial optimism. We know this country too well. …

As Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist, Eugene Robinson wrote recently, I want to believe that George Floyd’s murderer will be found guilty and sent straight to prison. But we have seen far too many spectacles of Black death that have gone unpunished to naively hold on to that hope. For generations, public lynchings of Black people were considered entertainment. In today’s world, the lynch rope, hangman’s noose is now the Glock 19 or the Smith & Wesson, in the hands of uniformed police officers in positions of power. Far too often, they are White-supremacist police officers who have been allowed…

…and when will they finally see us as human and stop killing us?

1979 billboard by Cleveland businessman, Winston E. Willis

With this bold and controversial billboard statement on the corner of his popular business strip on 105th St. and Euclid Avenue, African-American businessman- real estate developer, Winston E. Willis expressed his outrage at the brutal murder by Cleveland police of another unarmed young black man. The billboard, one of several on the volatile subject exposing systemic racism in his community, infuriated law enforcement and the local judiciary and sent them into a rage. Adding fuel to the racially motivated conspiracy that led to the complete theft and destruction of Willis’ entire business empire. The painful irony is that the billboard bears uniquely tragic relevance today. Repeating Willis’ question: “When will become a crime in America?” And when will they finally see us as human and stop killing us?

The Funeral of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A national day of mourning for the fallen leader, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

People of a certain age, people of my generation, are aware that in the years since his assassination, it is rarely mentioned that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was cut down nine months before he reached his fortieth birthday. As a young pastor, he had been with us since 1955, after being launched onto the world stage from Montgomery, Alabama, my hometown, by the Montgomery Bus Boycott. But by 1968, his leadership of the Civil Rights Movement had made him an internationally known figure, and he had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Further on in his journey, he…

This weekend, after having watched the powerful and emotionally heart-rending new Tina Turner documentary on HBO, I received a phone call from a childhood friend in Detroit reminding me of our personal connection to an early Ike and Tina Turner Review performance. My friend, Patricia and I first met in 1954 in the 5th grade and have remained close friends and kept in touch all these years. Her excited phone call was to remind me of an occasion in the summer of 1960 when we were both 16 and somehow managed to get seated in the audience of a local…

A letter to my dear departed husband, Pepe

My Beloved ‘Pep’:

It’s taken me a while to manage this emotionally, but I think I might be up to it now. Numerous attempts have ended in tearful eruptions of grief and sorrow, but this is something I have been wanting to write since I let go of your body at the hospital. There was so much more I wanted to say to you, but under the circumstances, it wasn’t possible. Nevertheless, I believe you heard the things I did say to you. And you left this life wrapped in the warmth of my loving embrace. …

1948 — Alberta Frazier Willis, Hostess-Event Planner, Officers’ Club, Maxwell Field, Montgomery, Alabama

MARCH, 2021 — As another Black History Month came to a close and Women’s History Month began, my thoughts turned to my mother. Alberta Frazier Willis. This is not unusual. I think of her every day, and I still miss her very much, even though she left this life almost 30 years ago at the age of 82 . But this year, the celebratory milieu heralding women’s achievements seized and captured my attention in a much more compelling way. Numerous print publications and social media platforms highlighted and praised trailblazing women of color. Revealing “First woman ever to” achievements, and…

Rev. C.T. Vivian and Rep. John Lewis being awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Obama

Rev. C.T. Vivian

Aug 25th, 2015 — When I wrote this blog post about Rev. C.T. Vivian, I was shocked and amazed when I learned that he had read it, and even more so, when he very graciously e-mailed me and expressed his sincere appreciation. Thus began a fascinating and immensely informative online conversation with this great man. I will always remember his kind and encouraging words as he expressed his hard-won ideals and his faith in the next generation. The lingering image of his constant smile and encouraging voice will remain forever.

Among his many accolades and life’s accomplishments as a pioneer…

Then and now…

LEFT: My brother, Winston. RIGHT: Me — Images from our childhood in 1950s Montgomery, Alabama.

“…despite advances, the United States remains a nation of cowards on issues involving race.” Attorney General Eric Holder in 2009.

The newly sparked debate concerning the existence of systemic racism in this country is utterly mind-boggling, yet not surprising. But clueless members of the feckless GOP, e.g., the incompetent Trump administration, Larry Kudlow, William Barr, as well as Chief Justice John “our country has changed” Roberts and their ilk need only look to televised images of protesters by the thousands who have been galvanized to finally confront this issue and begin this long-overdue conversation.

Aundra Willis Carrasco

Freelance Writer, Essayist, Blogger, Curious Social Observer. E-Mail me at: aundra.willis@gmail.com or visit https://aundrawilliscarrasco.com

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